Saturday, August 30, 2008

When the best isn't good enough

One of the definitions in my Concise Oxford Dictionary of the word 'premium' is 'of best quality. This seems to have escaped those who sell wine. Today, wines touted as 'premium' products are usually bog-standard, entry-level fodder.

So what's above premium? First there was super-premium. Then ultra-premium. Then Icon. This last was a bit of an an unfair tactic in the Premium game, just not cricket etc. And it wasn't long before people were asking whether Icon was one word or two. So profound thanks to Michael Mondavi for returning to playing by the rules. His new Napa Cabernet, set to be released this autumn, will be called M by Michael Mondavi, and it is to be, wait for it, a super-ultrapremium wine. Has Mr M jumped a category in labelling it thus? Is super-ultrapremium better or worse than ultra-superpremium? Discuss. Oh, and it'll be $200. A super price. Or maybe an ultra price.


HamishWM said...

Hello Simon (aka the ultra Northern premium wine journo). When will it all end?
I am thinking of bringing out a Southern French wine which essentially has all the cliches smothering the label. Maybe we could also get it reviewed by Wine their awards seem to cost c $250 these days.
All the best from the very sunny and occasionally ultra premium and often reserve and always smug South of France (PS. Is it still raining in England?)

Simon said...

Hi Hamish, weather here is ultra shitty today, am in need of something super-premium to restore balance.